Editor’s Note: As they have for the last couple of years, your summer Pause messages will feature the ‘Best of Pause. These GEMS are readers’ favorite messages from earlier years. Whether you are a long time subscriber, or new to our list, I hope you enjoy them all. After Labor Day, your Pause messages will once again feature all new info and resources.
P.S. – Also, be sure to scan right to the end of this message. You’ll want to be sure to catch the details on my Canada 150 Summer Art Project and the unique Provinces of Canada paintings on offer each week. This week – Nova Scotia.
REFLECTION & ACTION: What’s new? It’s a common enough greeting and an innocent enough question. Novelties – new information, new opportunities, new ideas – have a place in our lives. They generate energy, engagement and excitement about life’s possibilities.
However, a preoccupation with the latest, up-to-the-nano-second news can keep us from more meaningful, long-term pursuits.
Scientists looking at how we juggle the bombardment of email, phone calls and other inbound info are finding that our ability to focus is undermined by constantly reacting to these info bursts. We have more trouble sifting out irrelevant information, become more fractured in our thinking, and end up less focused on what we know in our clear thinking moments constitute our top priorities.
‘Incoming bits’ provoke an excitement akin to an adrenalin rush – and are just as addictive. As we become more obsessed with pursuing new bits of info, we are then less likely to stay the course – less likely to follow through putting older, more valuable information to work.
This incessant influx of information can work against our long term productivity and well being – and leave us more stressed, to boot. A University of California study found that people interrupted by e-mail reported significantly increased stress compared to those left alone to focus on the task at hand.
So, what’s the take away learning from the latest research? It argues strongly in favor of judiciously pulling the plug on incoming news and views.
Don’t let your focus and energy be hijacked by nonstop missives arriving in your in box or voice mail.
At those times when you are intent on a high priority task or relationship, unplug the technology. Turn off the smart phone. Quell the twitter. Log off Facebook. Quash the news feed.
Temper your ‘reactive’ brain by removing temptations to distraction, and tend to what your ‘thinking’ brain has already declared is most important. Actually making progress on things that matter could turn out to be an adrenalin rush of an even more satisfying and enduring kind!
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: We’ve got a large and growing group of people who think the slightest hint that something interesting might be going on is like catnip. They can’t ignore it. – Clifford Nass, Stanford Communications Professor
RESOURCE OF THE WEEK: For more on the plugged-in phenomenon and its impact see this New York Times article, Attached To Technology & Paying A Price.
CANADA 150 SUMMER ART PROJECT: In honor of our country’s 2017 anniversary celebrations, I’m delighted to introduce my very own Canada 150 Art Project. I’ve created one painting to honor each province – all ten of which I’ve had the joy of visiting over the years.
One unique provincial landscape, seascape or streetscape will be featured here at the end of the each of the summer GEMS messages. Ten paintings are up for grabs – one for each province – and one each week.
This week’s offering features Nova Scotia. Read on for what you need to know to make this painting yours.
Each painting is 8” x 10” in size and although it’s not shown here, each one will arrive mounted in a double white mat bringing the outer dimensions to 11” x 14” – ready to pop into a standard frame of your own choosing.
The price for each painting will be $150 (taxes included) plus $15 for shipping to anywhere in Canada.
Each painting will arrive with a written commentary on a few of my memories of that particular province.
If you are looking for a unique remembrance of Canada 150, and you’ve always wanted to buy an original watercolor from the Pauseworks Studio, here’s your chance.
Just send me an email message with the words ‘Canada 150 – I’ll Take It’ in the subject line. The first reader to call dibs on each week’s masterpiece takes it. Good luck and Happy Canada 150.